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Great Sound, but the Wrong Kind

November 11, 1994|CHERIE SAUNDERS

On Saturday nights, Fantasia Northridge opens its door to a 21-and-older crowd looking for house, R & B and old-school music. There may not be a long wait outside, but if you are a hip-hop fan, you may encounter a lengthy wait for three or four rap songs back to back, while the house music seems to go on for hours.

SCENE: The inside looks like Greg Brady's room when he moved into Mike's office and turned it into a hippie love nest. The club is small and very '70s with lots of purple, hot pink and turquoise neon lighting. A huge, mirrored wall borders one side of the dance floor and the air remains thick due to the steady use of fog machines. The DJ booth sits above the dance floor in a dark but spacious lounge area. By 11 p.m., two hours after opening, the place is in full swing with all the tables filled and the dance floor packed.

CROWD: Finally, a place where people wearing jeans were in the minority. The dress code is fashionable, meaning no hats, tennis shoes, T-shirts, tank tops and ripped or baggy jeans. Of course, there were a smattering of people inside who violated the restrictions, but most were dressed to impress--women in tank dresses and heels, men in button-down shirts, sweaters and dress pants.

MUSIC: This is one of those places where the bass rattles your sternum. The sound system is outstanding, but can be annoying if the music is not your type. For example, KPWR DJ Charlie Huero is featured every Saturday night spinning blocks of hip-hop, retro and house music. Yet many said the music was way too heavy on the house and techno. When the hip-hop and old school eventually played, the crowd stampeded onto the floor to such favorites as "Funkytown" from Lipps Inc. and rap songs Volume 10's "Pistol Grip Pump," and "Tootsee Roll," from the 69 Boyz.

GOOD: Marvin Williams, 34, of West Covina noticed the mixture of whites, Latinos and African Americans in the crowd. "I like the wide variety of people, and it's cheap to get in, only $7," he said.

BAD: The long stretches of house music seem to annoy people the most. "This club would be phat if the DJ would play less aerobic class music and more dance, R & B and hip-hop," complained Katrina McKnight, 26, of Van Nuys. Also, Jodi Hudson, 28, of Canoga Park, thought the men were a little stiff. "They're too chicken to dance," she said. "They just stand around the dance floor and look at you."

WORD: "This place looks exactly the same as when we used to come in 1988," said a woman in her mid-20s to her friend, who nodded in agreement.

Fantasia, 19470 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Cover $7, women admitted free before 10:30 p.m. Hours: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays only. Information line: (818) 701-1333.

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